NATIONAL investment company Khazanah Nasional Bhd has obtained Bank Negara approval to start talks with Bukhary Capital Sdn Bhd to sell a 40% stake in Bank Muamalat, Khazanah chief operating officer Anwar Aji said.
Khazanah would sell its stake in Bank Muamalat if the price is right and the returns from the sale are within our expectations, he said, adding that it would still have a 30% stake in the smallest bank in the country after the sale.
He declined to go into specifics, citing ongoing negotiations.
Asked if Khazanah intended to retain the balance 30% stake in Bank Muamalat if the sale to Bukhary Capital was concluded, Anwar said: We will cross the bridge when we come to it.
Yesterday, Commerce Asset-Holding Bhd said it had been given approval by Bank Negara to commence talks to sell its entire 30% stake in Bank Muamalat to Bukhary Capital.
Analysts said Bukhary Capital was believed to be a company linked to businessman Syed Mokthar Albukhary.
They are of the view that Bukhary Capital may have to pay 1.5 to 2 times book value for Bank Muamalat given that this range is the prevailing pricing for banks.
Bank Muamalat, with 42 branches, has shareholders' funds of RM347.8mil and assets of RM6.6bil. For the year to December 2002, it posted a net profit of RM18.7mil, up from RM17.9mil a year earlier. AFX
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